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The rumor frenzy in Major League Baseball is out of control. It seems to get more intense, yet more vague, every off season.
Now, with nearly every beat writer and columnist having instant publishing ability on Twitter or their own blog, for a fan, it is nearly impossible to believe anything anyone is writing.
There are almost too many rumors to read through; and, quite often, half of them contradict the other half. I mean, one reporter says a team is interested in a specific player, another reporter says they are not. Who should a fan believe?
Newspaper reporters like to say bloggers, like me, have no standards. The thing is, I’m just being me. I don’t claim to have standards, or a degree. I make my living in a meritocracy, where if people do not like what I write, or do not believe what I say, they’ll stop reading. I don’t need standards, because I am directly accountable to the people who matter most: my readers… not my editors, not my union… my readers.
On the other hand, in MLB, today, it’s the newspaper reporter, the ‘educated journalist,’ who blogs and Tweets about every thought, every conversation, every idea that crosses a GM’s mind, and now he is the one with no standards. It’s a Wild West of information, often built on one source, all of which is published in an instant. There is no context. It’s just tidbit after rumor after tidbit.
These same reporters are also painfully vague, with someone recently writing, ‘The Mets could have interest in Jason Varitek,’ while citing nobody for the inclination. Really? They could? Will there be a report tomorrow discussing why they might not have interest? Or, does this type of writing only work in one direction?
This only gets compounded when a 17–year-old son of a man who is friends with people on the Yankees decides he too will blog about trade rumors; and, for all I know, is more accurate and reliable than every newspaper reporter combined.
The essence of my baseball blog, MetsBlog.com, is to try and synthesize all of this information, cut through the clutter, and provide the context and narrative that reporters no longer feel they have time to provide. Because, frankly, without context, it’s all just random, unconnected, rumor-mongering… and, in time, I fear fans will become desensitized, treating it all as noise, with no one rumor more valid than the next.
There has to be a line that I will not cross; there has to be level of rumor I will not reference; otherwise, every rumor, regardless of context, regardless of logic, they all must be referenced, and, that’s just not possible. There is only so much time in the day, as I sense most baseball fans can only digest so much information.
Thankfully, I have standards.
I turned on CNN, and they were going three rounds about some idiot Republican operative in South Carolina who called Michelle Obama an ape. Nothing on Iran.
MSNBC was in the middle of one of its hour-long crime documentaries.
FNC was showing a pre-taped piece on Bernie Madoff.
And I realize that it’s the weekend and they usually take the weekend off, but over at NRO, the only thing they’ve managed to post about Iran today is a link to Daniel Pipes’ piece cheering on an Ahmadinejad victory because otherwise his dream of a massive Israeli air assault would be dashed. That’s it…a staff of 10+ regular bloggers, and all they can come up with in the midst of an Iranian revolution is a single piece cheering for the status quo?
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